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Experiences of wearing support garments by people living with a urostomy

12 December 2019
14 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 22



support garments are commonly worn by people with a urostomy but there are no published data about their experiences of doing so.


to identify the views of people living with a urostomy on the role of support garments.


a cross-sectional survey of the stoma population's experiences of support garments was conducted in 2018. Recruitment was by social media. The free-text responses provided by a sub-sample of 58 people out of 103 respondents with a urostomy, were analysed.


thematic analysis revealed four themes: physical self-management; psychosocial self-management; lifestyle; and healthcare advice and support. There were mixed feelings about the value of support garments. Many cited a sense of reassurance and confidence and being able to be more sociable and active; others reported discomfort and uncertainty about their value.


these findings add new understanding of experiences of support garments and provide novel theoretical insights about life with a urostomy.

Approximately 11 000 people are living with a urostomy in the UK and around 800 new urostomies are created each year (Urostomy Association, 2019). Although most people who have a urostomy adapt to living with their stoma, there is a period of considerable adjustment as they adapt both physically and psychologically.

A urostomy is a stoma created to divert urine to the abdominal wall after the bladder has been surgically removed. Radical cystectomy is performed to remove localised muscle-invasive and metastatic bladder cancer (Witjes et al, 2017), occasionally as part of radical surgery for a locally-advanced rectal cancer, or to treat another serious pelvic condition. The stoma is created to drain the urine from the kidneys by connecting the ureters to an ileal (small bowel) or colon (large bowel) conduit and then using the bowel to form a spout on the abdominal wall. A stoma appliance secured around the stoma on the abdomen is used to collect the urine, which can then be drained via a tap or bung at the bottom of the bag.

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